Monday, July 04, 2005

Celebrating Independence Day

It has been a really long time since I attended a July 4th Celebration. I mean a real celebration. Every town has its fireworks, and the big cities do them well, but there is a lot more to a celebration than fireworks. Even more than a parade.

My family and I attended the parade and festivities in Westfield, ND. Here this town of no more than 100 held a parade. Every float threw candy to kids. The flag led the parade in, and we all sang the national anthem, had a prayer of thanksgiving, and then witnessed a nice parade. The parade even had a children’s division for float made by kids under the age of 18. From there the party moved to a nearby field where races of all types commenced. One of the floats that resembled a train (it was a four wheeler pulling barrels on their sides with wheels that had man made seats inside, gave rides to all of the children who wanted them. We left at lunch because kids need naps, but the town had the entire day planned out. Softball, musical guests, and lots more fun. Our town of Herreid has its events at night when our town will hold its races and softball and a free swim is offered this afternoon. Fireworks will just be the icing on the cake. In fact, the town here in this area of the country stagger their parades so you can go from one town to the next town to the next and see a never ending cycle of parades. Many people did just that.

I guess my point is that this was a real celebration. This was not an event where every family grabbed a blanket and watched and then went home. Or a display that was made more for TV than for the public. This was a community coming together and enjoying each other. This was people celebrating. Sad to say all to few communities get together and real celebrate. I hope that everyone out there really celebrated the mercy of God by putting us in a great country. So go out and watch a parade, witness some fireworks, but don’t forget to say hi to your neighbors as you do it. Don’t forget to go rub shoulders with old friends, and most of all don’t forget to feast.